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Is Psychoanalysis Right for Me?


While psychoanalysis may not be for everyone, almost anyone suffereing form psychological symptoms can benefit from some type of psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy.  Whether a person would benefit most from psychoanalysis or psychotherapy is best determined by a consultation with a psychoanalyst.

If a troubled person is capable of having and using insights and is emotionally sturdy enough to tolerate intense, difficult feelings that can arise during treatment, he or she is likely to be able to benefit form analysis. On the other hand, some patients are more able to make use of psychotherapy to understand and change their lives.

Most patients first see an analyst for an evaluation to determine what type of treament is most appropriate.  If it's psychoanalysis, treatment typically consists of meeting four to five times per week over a long-term period of time.

Through an emotional reliving of one's life narrative and conflicts during these sessions, the intensity of treatment permits the deepest and longest last changes.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy uses the same theoretical principles and methods of exploration but with less intensity, meeting one to three times per week with the therapist.  For some people, this is a more manageable, yet highly effective method of treatment.

Psychoanalysis may be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as psychopharmacology, couples counseling or family therapies.  Many studies demonstrate that psychotherapy with medication is more effective than mediation alone, underscoring the human need for talking things over in a safe and private environment.


From American Psychoanalytic Association
From about psychoanalysis
Copyright 2004